SYDNEY (IINA) – A hijab wearing Muslim woman was attacked by a man while she was onboard a train in Sydney, leaving her traumatized and terrified, media sources reported.
Hina, who wanted to be identified only by her first name, was on her journey from the city’s Town Hall station to Parramatta in Sydney when she was assaulted. Hina lodged a complaint with the Parramatta police, who are now investigating the incident.
Being the only one in the train who dons hijab, Hina said she felt the man targeted her because of her faith. Hina said she boarded the train about 5:30pm, but found there were no seats available so stood near the stairs, and noticed “a guy come in”. The 30-year-old said the man appeared want to use the stairs before hitting her with his shoulder.
“I thought maybe it’s a mistake so I just stepped back,” she said. “Then he moved even closer to me and hit me three or four times with his shoulder, his bag. He kicked me with his foot. Then I realized he was intentionally attacking me so then I shouted.
“He said excuse me, then he pushed me, then he said get off,” she said.
“He said you kind of people, you block our way. I was in deep shock.”
Hina also noted that she became even more frightened when no one tried to defend her, except for a woman who yelled at the man after the assault.
The woman who has been assaulted tried to get off at Redfern to notify the station manager but the man got off at the same station.
“He passed by me and abused me verbally and went away,” she said.
“I was the only one on that train that was wearing the hijab. It was a forceful attempt to attack me, she added.”
One day after the attack, terrified Hina is still incapable of leaving her home.
“I’m scared because I’m a single woman living alone. I can’t step out of my home. This one incident has shaken my confidence, Hina said.”
Failing to go to work, she contacted the Islamophobia Register Australia, an online service that records incidents of anti-Muslim abuse.
Lawyer Mariam Veiszadeh, who founded the register, said Hina was clearly traumatized by the incident.
The register has received dozens of reports of attacks against Muslim women, Mariam noted.
In addition, Hina reported the assault also to Parramatta police, who are now investigating the incident.
Police said the man was of Caucasian appearance, about 175cm tall, aged in his mid-30s, with a medium build, bald head and facial stubble, and wearing jeans and black and white shoes.
Muslims, who have been in Australia for more than 200 years, make up 1.7 percent of its 20-million population.
Recently, the anti-Muslim sentiments further increased following last October’s anti-terror raids.
The raids were followed by a huge number of anti-Muslim attacks, including a mosque being defaced in Queensland and direct threats issued against the Grand Mufti of Australia.